Japan to co-finance Zambezi bridge in Mozambique

Tokyo- Japan (PANA) -- Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said Wednesday that Japan has agreed to provide 25 million US dollars towards the construction of a new bridge across the Zambezi river.
The bridge is estimated cost some 70 million dollars.
National news agency, AIM said 45 million of the amount had already been guaranteed, and the Japanese pledge means the money required is now available.
Speaking to Mozambican journalists at the end of the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) in Tokyo, Chissano said Japan was willing to advance the first 10 million dollars this year, and disburse the remaining 15 million in 2004.
The bridge, which would link Caia on the south bank of the Zambezi to Chimuara on the north bank, is considered a key link in the country's main north-south road.
Currently, people wishing to cross the river at Caia use an unreliable ferry service.
The alternative is a lengthy detour through the Dona Ana bridge further upstream, and then a smaller ferry over the Chire river, AIM said.
Chissano said the Japanese pledge was another example that: "Japan wants concrete co-operation.
" Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has already pledged that his country would increase aid by about 25 percent to Africa to one billion dollars spread over the next five years.
"We think that Japan does not want merely to set an example of good co-operation, but it wants to take on a certain leadership role," Chissano added.

01 Outubro 2003 17:49:00

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